The target for embarking on these national consultations is to givefeedback to stakeholders at the regional, district and community levels, aboutthe current state of development on the Child and Family Welfare Policy.
Mrs Helena Obeng Asamoah, Acting Director of National Department ofChildren, in her address said though Ghana has domesticated United NationsConvention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into laws, policies and NationalPlan of Actions, children continued to experience abuse in diverse forms, hencethe consultations.
Mrs Asamoah said the consultations would enhance the dissemination andvalidation of the content of the drafted national child and family policy amongstakeholders, and solicit inputs from participants into the policy at theregional district and community level.
She said this policy would ensure that quality and accessible serviceswere available to children and families needing special support where existingcommunity mechanisms had not been able to provide solutions.
She said this would increase access to social, economic and emotionalsupport for families, especially those facing difficulties to adequatelyprotect and respond to the needs and welfare of children.
She noted that this would empower and support communities to betterunderstand abusive situations and to prevent, protect and respond to childrenat risk and child victims of maltreatment and abuse.
She said the system would work in recognition of community based processin dealing with child and family welfare issues normally not considered by thelaw, as well as partner with family, the community and the state, withmutual undertaking and trust in their strengths and capabilities.
Mrs Asamoah said the emphasis of the child and family welfare is tominimize and cut across the three focus areas of family related challenges,maltreatment and behaviour challenges.
She, however, called on government and stakeholder organisations topromote, contribute and empower families to perform their fundamental roles andstrengthen capacity to protect the well-being of children.
Mr Edmund Foley, Technical Director on Children, said efforts are beingmade by government to make the system fit for the country to ensure that thisbecomes more effective, sustainable, socio-culturally appropriate and relevantfor the people of Ghana.
Mr Foley said, such a system is expected to better protect children fromall forms of violence, abuse and exploitation.
He said this has been the current challenge the system is encounteringto protect children as far as the child and family welfare policy is concerned.
He said findings of the 2010 mapping showed significant progress inlegal framework, but no relation with practice, juvenile justice not integratedinto broader justice system, laws failing to take local context intoconsideration, multiple action plan, no national policy framework, lack ofclarity of mandates and no link between formal and informal service provisionsare the main reasons why cases concerning children are left hanging.
He, however, called on all to put in their views to enable the Ministryhave a concrete Child and Family Welfare Policy that would allow issuesconcerning children to be dealt with, with much urgency and justice.
Participants also made contributions towards the drafting of the policy.GNA